U.S. Passport & Citizenship FAQs

Questions about U.S. Citizenship

Most people automatically acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if they are born in the United States.  The only exception are children of foreign diplomats who have full diplomatic immunity.  If you were born in the United States and have never had a U.S. passport before, you can apply for one by following the instructions here. 

Please note, that there are certain obligations that come with U.S. citizenship.  For example, U.S. citizens must file taxes, even if they work and reside abroad.  Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.


By law U.S. citizens must enter and depart the United States using U.S. passports, even if they hold a passport from another country.

Questions about applying for a passport

As of January 1, 2016, it is no longer possible to add extra pages to a U.S. passport.  You are required to apply for a new passport.

Questions about attending an appointment

There is a photo booth at the U.S. Embassy in London.  However, as we cannot guarantee that these will be operational, we would always advise applicants to obtain an appropriate photo prior to attending their appointment.  Further, we do not recommend using the photo booths for photographs of infants.

There are no photo booths at our Consulates General at Edinburgh and Belfast.

Questions about your new passport or obtaining your passport records

We do not have the authority to transfer visas or stamps issued by other countries. When you renew your passport, your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with your new one. You should then contact the authority that issued the visa and/or stamp to find out what to do next.

For your reference, information from the UK government, including contact details, can be found on their website at https://www.gov.uk/transfer-visa.

Your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with your new one.  Stamps and visas are unaffected when we cancel a passport.

Children aged 14 and over may sign their own passports.  For children under the age of 14, a parent should sign.  In the space provided for the signature, the parent or legal guardian must print the child’s name and sign his/her/their own name.  Then, in parentheses, they should write their relationship to the child so we know who signed the passport, i.e. (mother) or (father).

The Embassy is not able to provide a copy of CRBAs or passport records.   Please see the Department of State’s website for details on how to obtain such documents.


Social Security cards are processed by the Embassy’s Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) and take longer to process than U.S. passports.

If you would like to contact FBU, please visit their webpage at https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/federal-benefits for contact information.